Visiting the NYC Transit Museum in Brooklyn

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Vintage train car at the NYC Transit Museum

Vintage train car at the NYC Transit Museum

I first went to the NYC Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn over the summer. It was a great activity for a warm rainy day. Even though you can easily see the whole museum in one visit, I had no qualms about going back with a friend last weekend.

You can see everything in about three hours. It is a great museum for kids and there will be plenty of them on a weekend. The hands-on activities will keep children occupied while there is still plenty of history text for adults. Admission to the museum is $7/adult and often has free hours throughout the year.

The old Court St station is now the home of the NYC Transit Museum

The old Court St station is now the home of the NYC Transit Museum

The NYC Transit Museum is inside an inactive but still working subway station. The third rail is still live but trains no longer stop at the platform. The entire museum is underground. The entrance to the museum looks like a subway stop. The history & exhibits are all underground. And their collection of vintage trains are on the lower level actually on tracks. With additional information on the subway platform.

Old subway advertisement on a vintage train at the NYC Transit Museum

Old subway advertisement on a vintage train

One of the best parts of the vintage trains, is seeing the vintage ads and maps in each of the subway cars. When the subways were owned privately, there were some interesting line set-ups.

The museum begins by showing you how the tunnels were laid out and dug. Then it moves onto the power system of the subway system. This part has a lot of hands-on activities for kids. If you keep going to the back, there is a whole area about ground transportation in nyc. Including a fantastic timeline showing the change from horse & carriage to trolley to cable car to buses.

As you leave the museum, there is an area showing the change in subway turnstiles which is also very neat. The original ones were wooden. Before turnstiles, an employee would just take your ticket like at the movies.

Vintage train car at the NYC Transit Museum

Vintage train car at the NYC Transit Museum

Downstairs is where the fun is. There are a dozen vintage train cars from various years. You can read about each one. Then actually board the car and walk around.

For three Sundays in the month of December, the MTA runs some of the vintage train cars along the M line. This has been done for promotions as well (like, for Boardwalk Empire). This past December I was able to ride one of the vintage trains.

It was very neat seeing it pull up to the platform. And surprising to some people who weren’t expecting it. There is only one train, a short train at that, that runs up and down the M line. So it makes it each station (from 2nd Ave to Queensboro Plaza) about once an hour.

But when the train isn’t running, it is housed at the NYC Transit Museum. Where you can still walk in the cars, take pictures, sit on the seats, and be glad trains aren’t like that anymore.



More Pictures

Columbus Circle sign at NYC Transit Museum

Columbus Circle Sign

Old Subway Sign at NYC Transit Museum

Old Subway Sign

"Wage War on Germs Cover Your Coughs & Sneezes Please" etiquette vintage ad at NYC Transit Museum

“Wage war on germs”

Old subway advertisement on a vintage train at the NYC Transit Museum

Guiness Advertisement

Vintage Yeungling Ad on old train at NYC Transit Museum

Vintage Yeungling Ad

Subway Manners at NYC Transit Museum

Subway Manners

Old Subway Map at NYC Transit Museum

Old Subway Map

Event Sign NYC Transit Museum

Event Sign

Elevated Subway Sign at NYC Transit Museum

Elevated Subway Sign

More fans on vintage trains at nyc transit museum

More fans on vintage trains

LIRR Sign at NYC transit museum

LIRR Sign

Inside a caboose at NYC Transit Museum

Inside a caboose

The old Court St station is now the home of the NYC Transit Museum

Former court st station

Old Fresh Air Fund ad on vintage train at NYC Transit Museum

Old Fresh Air Fund ad

Vintage ads on the old trains at NYC Transit Museum

Vintage ads on the old trains

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Old Subway Map

Brilliant use of ceiling fans in the old trains at NYC transit museum

Ceiling fans in the old trains

Sideways Subway Map (pre-mta) at NYC Transit Museum

Pre-MTA Map

"Keep your feet off the Seats" subway etiquette on vintage train at NYC transit museum

Subway mannters

"Stand on your own Feet" subway etiquette sign at NYC Transit Museum

“Stand on your own Feet”

"Seats are for People not Packages" Subway Etiquette Vintage Ad at NYC Transit Museum

Subway Etiquette Vintage Ad

"The Subway Sun" offering subway etiquette tips NYC Transit Museum

“The Subway Sun”

Vintage sign for Independent Subway System (pre-mta) at NYC Transit Museum

Independent Subway System

Vintage poster on a train at NYC Transit Museum

Vintage poster on a train

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